Wednesday, March 4, 2015

GI Joe Sigma 6: Lockdown

Around 2005, Hasbro decided to take a different route with the G.I. Joe brand. Gone was the traditional 3 3/4" scale, replaced with a new look 8 inch scale. It was a pretty drastic departure from what most collectors were familiar with. A lot of collectors would have a hard time embracing or even accepting the new look Joes, but I was intrigued by this new series of toys.

At the start of the line I found the toy's packaging to be almost as impressive as the toys themselves. The top and bottom of the packaging were large pieces of plastic that when removed, could be assembled to form a foot locker of sorts to store the figure's gear and accessories. After awhile Hasbro introduced a lower price point who's packaging lacked some of these frills. Lockdown was one of the Soldier assortment as they were called. While the packaging may have been simpler, the toys still packed the same punch.

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The Soldier assortment still came with a good amount of gear. As you can see here, Lockdown comes with a removable helmet, gun, hand cuffs, a belt, a SWAT shield and a battering ram. I particularly liked this figure due to his similarities to the A Real American Hero character, Shockwave.

For larger sculpted figures, I was surprised at the level of detail and articulation the figures featured. While they didn't feature modern ball joint type articulation, you could get some good poses out of these figures...assuming you had an ounce of creativity.

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I personally liked this new direction of GI Joe. The art style was different, but I like different. There was a brief animated series that accompanied the line, but I don't think Lockdown every made an appearance. If he had I imagine he would have looked exactly like his figure.

In addition to the accessories I've already mentioned, check out his metal dog tags. Small touch, but a very cool little accessory.

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Lockdown's right hand is actually spring loaded. What I mean by that is his four fingers have a spring that runs behind the knuckle area. This allows him to grip and hold his weapons and accessories in a tight manner. When nothing is in his hands, he effectively has a balled up fist.

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The Sigma 6 toys had a lot of play value. Granted the series was focused on the figures and not the vehicles and play sets, the toys were fun. Isn't that what toys aren't meant to be? Yes it was a big departure from the norm, but it seems like that is what must happen from time to time to the GI Joe brand to keep it alive.

This was written in the early months of 2015. The future of the GI Joe brand is up in the air. I hear rumors of a 3rd live action movie...which would help, but military themed toys just aren't as relevant to today's kids as they were in the 60's or even the 80's. As much as I love GI Joe, unless the brand takes another chance and mixes it up a little, I don't see it coming back anytime soon...and that is something that makes this long time fan / collector a little sad.

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